You have heard it said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That statement is never more accurate than when a person is rummaging through an antique market or a salvage yard.
Combing through fixtures and rare finds, one person will find the perfect treasure as the other mumbles, “eh, not for me.”
The everyday shopper may pick up a piece or two of salvage to add to home decor or as a collection of personal uniquities. But the true collector has a specific set of criteria in mind for the antique find of the day.
So, what is it that qualifies an item to be an Antique? If you are asking that very question, keep reading.
The first and most crucial criteria states that an item must be at least 100 years old to be defined as an antique. That is a hard and fast rule. The other considerations can vary from antique dealer to antique dealer. Let’s explore those a bit.
The piece should be able to stand the test of time. Items made so long ago were of excellent quality and will hold up to most anything with a sanding and a new stain.
Some antique dealers say it is not truly an antique unless it has a hand-made part on it. Considering most items were made by hand 100 years ago, I would say that is probably true.
And finally, an antique should be considered a substantial investment. When you find an authentic antique, you will pay a bit more than a vintage piece or a collectible. The older the item is, the more value it holds because it has much history and fundamental importance.
Antique dealers of cars follow a whole different set of rules. To qualify as an antique car the vehicle should be only 40-years or older. The first mass-produced car made on an assembly line was not available until 1908. It was the Ford Model T. So, we are just getting to the years we can say we will be able to find a car over 100 years old. And if you find one, you will pay a pretty penny for it and keep it in a very secure place. You would have a real treasure!
Vintage cars are specifically those made in the years 1919-1930, like the Rolls-Royce Phantom and the Aston Martin DB 5. To be called a classic car, the auto needs to be approximately 20-40 years old. The 67 Chevy Corvette, the Porsche 911, and the VW Beetle would have vintage car collectors drooling for a chance to purchase.
Not all markets are created equal. Unfortunately, when looking for an antique, it is necessary to ask questions of the dealer. See if they “know their stuff.” Some shop owners who simply don’t know what they are looking for will call an item antique that merely is vintage, classic, or retro.
Be sure to check the antique’s condition and consider the price you will be willing to pay. Also, check for function and usability for your specific project.
Remember, the rare finds in an antique shop can prove to be a hot item in the antique world. So, if you find something you want, do not delay. It may be gone tomorrow. Antique markets are regularly cycling new and old products to keep the stores fresh.
When looking for that unique item or piece to complete your set, the markets are a great place to scour. Hours and hours can be spent on the treasure hunt to find that specific antique part or piece. It is a real thrill to come across one you have been searching for or stumble upon a new gem you don’t even know you need until you lay eyes on it.
For uniquities, funky finds, and rare antiques, look no further than Tampa Bay Salvage. For over two decades, they have been scouring the planet looking for your favorite treasure. Chances are, one day, they will land on it, and you can take it home!
Visit us on line or stop by and shop for hours at Tampa Bay Salvage.